3 Asset Disposals Strategy PDF 180 KB
The Leader of the Council and the Lead Member for Financial Oversight & Council Assets introduced a report that sought agreement to recommend to Cabinet approval of an Asset Disposal Strategy as part of the approach to dispose of assets in order to obtain capital receipts and reduce the Council’s debt.
The Strategy sought to ensure best use of the Council’s property assets and, where identified for disposal, that best consideration be achieved. The Lead Member for Financial Oversight & Assets highlighted the importance of the phasing of the programme of disposals which sought to sell out-of-borough and non-operational assets first and to generate capital receipts at an early stage of the programme as this would help reduce borrowing costs. As the programme progressed careful consideration would need to be given to assets which were in use by the council or were there were wider policy and strategic considerations to take into account. For example, it was noted that the Council’s accommodation strategy would need to be aligned to the asset disposal programme and it was agreed this strategy would be considered at future meeting.
One of the priorities should be disposing of empty assets at an early stage of the programme and the committee asked that information be provided in future update reports on whether the asset was empty and if so for how long.
Appendix 4 to the report included the list of assets proposed for marketing and disposal in Phase 1 of the programme. The Committee reviewed the list in detail and discussed a number of specific issues relating to individual sites to be satisfied they were surplus to operational requirements. In terms of the process, it was confirmed that the decision being recommended to Cabinet was to enable marketing but that each disposal that was a key decision would come to Cabinet for decision.
The list at Appendix 4 to the report was agreed as surplus with the exception of 2 Victoria Street and 34 Herschel Street as the Committee sought to ensure these properties could not be brought back into use for temporary accommodation, which was a significant financial pressure on the Council. It was agreed to give delegated authority to declare these two properties surplus and progress for disposal in consultation with the Lead Members for Financial Oversight & Council Assets and Housing & Planning once any potential future use had been clarified.
The Committee also discussed the inclusion of the Adelphi and MacKenzie Street sites and given their strategic importance to town centre redevelopment members agreed that further consideration of the options would be needed before any decisions could be taken on disposal. The Adelphi site was of significant local interest and had potential amenity uses which would need to be explored. It was agreed that they could be declared surplus to the Council’s operational requirements, but that further consideration would be needed before they were progressed for disposal.
Resolved – That it be recommended to Cabinet to:
(a) Agree the Asset Disposals Strategy set out at Appendix 1.
(b) Approve the declaration of the assets listed in Appendix 4 as surplus and to delegate authority to the Executive Director of Housing and Property, in consultation with the appropriate lead member and the Executive Director of Finance and Commercial, to market these assets for disposal, subject to:
i. The removal of 2 Victoria Street and 34 Herschel Street from the list of assets declared surplus.
(c) Delegate authority to the Executive Director of Housing and Property, in consultation with the Lead Member for Financial Oversight & Council Assets and the Lead Member for Housing & Planning, to determine whether 2 Victoria Street and 34 Herschel Street should be declared surplus and to commence marketing.
(d) Approve the proposed Asset Disposals Programme budget.